Pauline’s Letters

When my grandmother, Janie Pauline Lampley, was born on November 25, 1907, in Cheatham, Tennessee, her father, Henry, was 35, and her mother, Nancy, was 37. She was married my grandfather days before Pearl Harbor Day. She had one daughter, my mother. She died as a young mother on October 11, 1942, in San Pedro, California, at the age of 34.

These are transcriptions of letters spanning from June 1940 to her death. They are to my grandfather, who was in the Navy, and to her family. Subscribe to my blog to get notified when I post new letters.

There is a large gap between the first 2 letters with the second being July 5th, 1941, after she met my grandfather, Abb Truett. I have a copy of the life story he wrote about himself called “The Life Story of a lucky Tennessee Sailor that Lived to Retire”.  I’m including excerpts from that story.  

Within the first couple posts I realized that some of the language my Grandfather used in his writings were ethnic slurs common in the 1940’s. Rather than censor his writings I have added this following Trigger Warning to the pages with sensitive content:

This entry may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. These transcriptions are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.

April 1917

Abb Truett left high school to join the Navy in April 1917, when the United States entered World War 1. An excerpt from “The Life Story of a lucky Tennessee Sailor that Lived to Retire” by Abb R. Truett: After the war in 1919, I was honorably discharged from the Navy in New York City I began to […]

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June 3rd, 1940

Monday morning Dear Mae, Read your letter this morning, sure was glad to hear from you. I am having a good time but not as good as I had last year. Of course I didn’t expect to, it is entirely different, but it will be cheaper. It is very pretty here but nothing much to […]

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November 1940

An excerpt from “The Life Story of a lucky Tennessee Sailor that Lived to Retire” by Abb R. Truett:
November, 1940, as we came up from the south to New York on a Standard Oil tanker, I was called by the Navy for active duty. The Navy dispatched me to the U.S.S. Santee at Baltimore as a Commissioned Officer. The U.S.S. Santee at that time was on oil tanker rigged for fueling ships at sea.

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